Saw no signs that Prisoner X would kill self: Israeli lawyer

Last Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:36

Jerusalem: A top Israeli civil and human rights lawyer, who has claimed to be the last lawyer to have seen Prisoner X, allegedly a Mossad agent who died in Israeli custody under suspicious conditions, has said that when he saw the prisoner he saw no signs that he was going to kill himself.

"I`m the last lawyer who saw him alive. They asked me to see him and a day after that he was gone", Avigdor Feldman, a leading Israeli lawyer, told news portal Ynet.
"When I saw him, I saw no signs that he was going to kill himself. He sounded rational and he asked pertinent legal questions, that I can`t expand on," Feldman added.

The news portal reported that an appeal filed over the gag order imposed on the case by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) was rescinded by the ACRI at the Supreme Court`s recommendation.

ACRI Chief Legal Counsel, Attorney Dan Yakir, told Ynet that the group filed a motion to lift the gag order in 2011, following rumours of Prisoner X`s death.

"Our motion with the Central District Court was denied and we appealed to the Supreme Court. It heard us, as well as several security officials. Following classified information produced in court, we were advised to strike the appeal. Following this advice, and in order to avoid a detrimental legal ruling, we agreed," Yakir said.

"It was during the hearing that we learned that an inquest was in progress. It was a lengthy process that eventually ruled the death a suicide, but no other details were given to us...As for the question of negligence - how can it be that a prisoner held in a prison`s most secure cell commits suicide?," he questioned.

Australian television network ABC aired an investigative report on Tuesday revealing that Zygier, an Australian national who was held in complete isolation at the Ayalon Prison in Ramla, had died in a high-security cell in late 2010.

The 28-minute program revealed that Zygier, who was in his 30s when he died, used the name Ben Alon while living in Israel. He was married to an Israeli woman and had two small children.

In June 2010, the Israeli news site Ynet briefly reported on the existence of the prisoner, identified only as `Prisoner X` whose crimes were unknown, but that report was removed from the site shortly after it was posted.

Following the international media uproar, Israel today partially lifted a more than two years of gag order placed on the case of Prisoner X and sited National security reason for preventing the release of any details in this case.


First Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:36

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